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Author Topic: Crimes Rates and other Trends  (Read 2714 times)

jhkim

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Crimes Rates and other Trends
« on: December 01, 2021, 08:19:59 PM »
Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here.

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair

Trond

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2021, 08:42:03 AM »
It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.

Pat

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2021, 09:29:24 AM »
That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 09:35:05 AM by Pat »

oggsmash

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 12:35:31 PM »
Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here.

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair

  Well, if you make theft not a crime, crime will go down.  If you make rioting not a crime, crime will go down.  If you call dudes killing one another in the street a friendly shoot out and press no charges, crime will go down.  homicide in certain areas is up, way up.  The simple fact people flee shit holes to areas with less crime so that the shitholes have fewer people to kill is not really a great metric to look at.

jhkim

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 02:35:06 PM »
It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.

I'm going by right-wing sources for the George Floyd riots, like these from Real Clear Investigations and The Federalist, which reported 20+ and 30 deaths, respectively.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/09/09/realclearinvestigations_jan_6-blm_comparison_database_791370.html
https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/19/death-toll-rises-to-an-estimated-30-victims-since-mostly-peaceful-protests-began/


That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.

I agree with everything that you say here, Pat. I think you're reading some causal link or lack thereof between race riots and general crime rates, but I didn't mean to imply a relationship either way.

It seems like you're saying the crime data is believable too, though, so in that we agree. In the other thread, my main argument was with SHARK - who said that the crime statistics were bullshit because he knew from looking at the news that crime was much higher than in the 1990s.

Shasarak

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 04:05:14 PM »
I'm going by right-wing sources for the George Floyd riots, like these from Real Clear Investigations and The Federalist, which reported 20+ and 30 deaths, respectively.

20 to 30 deaths is just a quiet weekend in Chicago.
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Reckall

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 05:03:51 PM »
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
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oggsmash

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2021, 05:09:47 PM »
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.

  I dont think there is any reach to say the same people most willing to dispose of their kids are also the most likely to raise criminals.  I just doubt any politicians would use that as a reason to keep abortion legal safe and *rare*.

Pat

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2021, 05:56:27 PM »
It seems like you're saying the crime data is believable too, though, so in that we agree. In the other thread, my main argument was with SHARK - who said that the crime statistics were bullshit because he knew from looking at the news that crime was much higher than in the 1990s.
You should go look at who else was posting in that thread, and what they were saying.

Pat

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2021, 05:57:40 PM »
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
According to the Freakonomics crew, yes. But while it's an interesting hypothesis, it's just a hypothesis. Nobody's really sure. Others claim it's due to the rise of broken window policing, which I'm skeptical about.

jhkim

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2021, 07:15:56 PM »
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
According to the Freakonomics crew, yes. But while it's an interesting hypothesis, it's just a hypothesis. Nobody's really sure. Others claim it's due to the rise of broken window policing, which I'm skeptical about.

Another popular hypothesis is the reduction in childhood exposure to lead, cf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead%E2%80%93crime_hypothesis

And of course, it could well be a mixture of all of these factors. I think abortion and lead both seem believable as at least significant effects. I'm also skeptical about changes in policing, but I don't outright reject it.

Kyle Aaron

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2021, 10:15:51 PM »
I dont think there is any reach to say the same people most willing to dispose of their kids are also the most likely to raise criminals. 
I'd express it more as: the sort of person who is unable to plan safe sex and pregnancy probably is unable to plan the rest of their lives, too. So there'll be more day-to-day drama, more people coming in and out of the household, more jobs got and lost, more money burned through, more schooldays lost, less non-cash government help accessed, and so on.

In the OCEAN personality traits they call it "Conscientiousness" - that's more the attitudinal trait than the learned skill, but the two tend to go together. In the US military I believe terms are used like "squared away" and most people know it as "having your shit together."

People who are conscientious are more likely to use contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancies, less likely to have multiple short relationships, and so on. They won't need or choose to have (depending how you look at it) abortions as often as unconscientious people.

As much as conservatives like decrying how society is changed, it may be that we have more conscientious people now than we used to, across the Western world. Which would translate to less crime - over time. Obviously there are other things affecting it, and there will be year-to-year variations, etc.
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Ghostmaker

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2021, 08:05:47 AM »
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.

jhkim

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2021, 12:37:49 PM »
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.

I'd agree in the bigger picture that crime is at least partly related to poverty - but within the U.S., the poverty rate has been roughly flat since 1990 while the crime rate dropped dramatically from 1990 to the mid-2000s. So that change doesn't seem to be related to poverty.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2021, 01:20:05 PM »
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.

I'd agree in the bigger picture that crime is at least partly related to poverty - but within the U.S., the poverty rate has been roughly flat since 1990 while the crime rate dropped dramatically from 1990 to the mid-2000s. So that change doesn't seem to be related to poverty.
Well, there is also the gradual erosion of shitty Jim Crow-era gun control laws. That's also been going on for a while. Not sure if there's a causal effect though, I'll admit.